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News agency to close putting ten jobs at risk

A South East news and photographic agency is ceasing trading, it emerged today.

Staff at the Maidstone-based Kent News and Pictures and sister company Images International, which was launched last April, were told yesterday that the agency would be closing down.

Its founder Chris Eades, a former London Evening Standard journalist, was unavailable for comment but staff confirmed they were due to have a meeting later today.

It is estimated that ten reporting and photographic posts will be lost as a result of the closure. The agency began life in 1993.

It was the first independent British agency to send reporting staff to Iraq in summer 2003.

And its reporter Grant Hodgson, who previously worked for Brighton daily The Argus, helped to rescue people from a bomb attack on the UN headquarters in Baghdad in August 2003.